Career Advise Needed...Which Avenue to Take?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Churn4Fun, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. I've spent the last two years working at a small prop trading firm, using the firms own trading strategies. The trading taught to me is primarily a combo of program trading along w/ short term momentum scalps and reading/interpreting the L2 box.

    After two years, I've had a good measure of success, though the less volatile months can leave me a little lean come the end of the month (payday). Months can vary greatly, and though the firm I've been employed by has been making money consistently for years using these strategies, we're all a rule change or two away from being the guy making your fries at McFastFood. Furthermore, there is a limit to how much can be made utilizing these strategies; meaning, you can't just up the tier size and expect to make money b/c many times, there is nobody to get out to.

    I've been discussing w/ friends in the business my options and opportunities. I live in the NYC area, graduated w/ my undergrad from a good school w/ a high GPA, and have all my licenses. I know I could get a job at any of the big firms as a broker, or "financial planner"..but I want to stay where the money and excitement is....Trading.

    Recognizing that my earnings are limited w/ my current style, as is the training at my office if I want to try to expand, should I try to get a suit/tie job at one of the brokerage firms making $60-70K a year (+bonus) and try to work my way up to getting onto a trading desk.

    Another option is working as an energy trader for one of the local energy companies. I wouldn't want to do this forever, but it would expose me to new ways to position trade and see how big money is made. Along w/ experience, this could eventually help me land a position at one of better brokerage/trading firms or hedge funds. I also wouldn't mind escaping the feast or famine pay structure that i'm currently under.

    My question is: What is the best way to break into the more legit trading business and gain access to the best mentors, trading strategies, and training?

    as a side note, out of boredom, I'm taking L1 CFA exam in June....I figured it could help pad the resume and differentiate me from other possible applicants.

  2. jtnet


    1. buy low
    2. sell high
    3. PROFIT!
  3. I think you're going in the right direction with the CFA. Granted, it may not help your trading at all but it's highly regarded in the industry and may open some doors.
  4. You have some illusions about the job market.

    As a broker or financial planner, you do not even get a salary anymore, unless you are at a big name firm and they are unlikely to hire you. 60-70k +bonus? I think you are stuck in the 1990s. And there isn't much cross over into trading, brokers are salesmen.

    As for energy trader, unless you moving to Houston, you do not stand a chance either. In the Northeast, this industry is very limited and you would have to work in the boonies. That is if you even get a chance at an interview, have you even bothered looking at the requirements? The only way you get a chance is because the work locations are in the middle of nowhere, so it limits the number of applicants
    I know there are a couple energy trading firms in NYC, but I cannot find their names and have been trying. If you know them, PM me.

    You might as well go for a MBA from NYU or Columbia. Cause it's a rat race to get a "legitimate" trading job at a bulge bracket firm. You would aim for assistant trader and compete against Ivy league recent grads for the position. CFA is a plus, but it seems like it should be combined with a MBA.